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LINGUIST List 17.3174

Mon Oct 30 2006

Qs: Sound-Change-Driven Grammatical Category Loss?

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        1.    Matthew Juge, Sound-Change-Driven Grammatical Category Loss?


Message 1: Sound-Change-Driven Grammatical Category Loss?
Date: 28-Oct-2006
From: Matthew Juge <mattjugetxstate.edu>
Subject: Sound-Change-Driven Grammatical Category Loss?


Dear Colleagues,

I am looking for (counter-)parallels of cases in which sound change leads
to the elimination of a grammatical category, as in the widely cited loss
of the Latin case system in Romance nouns. I am particularly interested in
examples where it turns out that the relevant sound changes do not actually
seem to fully explain the loss of the grammatical categories, as seems to
be the case for both the Latin future and the Latin passive, despite
earlier claims. I am not only interested in examples from languages with
extensive documentation but also in cases involving solid reconstructions
that show that the sound changes of language X ''shouldn't'' have led to
the complete elimination of a given grammatical category (whether it was
later replaced or not) but that language nonetheless lacks the inherited
version of the category. Naturally, I would especially appreciate any
information on other factors known or believed to have contributed to the
loss of such categories.

Thanks in advance.
Matt Juge

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
                            Morphology
                            Phonetics
                            Phonology

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